The injuries that victims receive in truck accident collisions can take many years to recover from. Some victims face life-long disabilities, that can impact their entire family. At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, we have been helping Wisconsin families and individuals for nearly 100 years. Attorney James Pitz - a native of Oshkosh and a cum laude graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh - has helped more than 1,500 injury victims recover more than $100 million in compensation.
We offer a free, initial consultation and charge no upfront fees. We only get paid if we collect compensation in a settlement or court victory.
Call us today at (877) 888-5201 .
How Can the Lawyers at Sigman Janssen Help Me?
When pursuing a damages claim, it is often important to establish that negligence was the cause of the collision. Following an accident, many victims are unable to fully investigate all of the details that can help to prove that negligence.
Determining fault in a truck accident is a complicated process, as there can be many parties involved. These may include:
- The truck driver – If driver error and/or negligence was the cause of the accident, the truck driver may be penalized for breaching his or her duty of care.
- The trucking company – Sometimes trucking companies try to enforce unreasonable deadlines on their drivers, which causes drivers to break important safety regulations, such as not stopping to rest after driving for too many consecutive hours. Trucking companies may also be held liable for negligent hiring - which may include failing to perform background checks on drivers.
- Cargo-loading company – When an accident is caused by cargo spillage or the truck tipping over due to a load shift, the cargo-loading company may be held liable for improperly loading of the truck.
- Manufacturer of truck components – If an accident is caused due to the malfunction of a defective part - such as faulty brakes, engine parts, or tires - the manufacturing company may be held liable.
Elements of Negligence
Your Oshkosh truck accident attorney can review your accident to determine if the four elements of negligence were present. If they were, you may be eligible for compensation. The four aspects of negligence include:
Duty of Care
The first element to consider is if the at-fault party owed the victim a duty of care. Truck drivers have a duty to act in a reasonable manner in order to prevent harm to others. For instance, a truck driver has a duty to follow road signs to help keep other motorists on the road safe.
Breach of Duty
Once the duty of care is established, our attorneys will consider if the duty of care was breached. If the at-fault party failed to act in a reasonable manner, the duty of care was breached. For instance, if a truck driver runs a red light, he or she failed to act reasonably.
The next element that needs to be established is that the at-fault party’s breach of duty caused you to suffer injuries. Unless you can link your injuries to the actions, or failure to act, of the at-fault party, you may not have a claim.
The last element to prove is that your injuries from the accident caused you to suffer monetary damages, such as medical bills or lost wages from missing days at work.
It is important that all four elements are backed by evidence. Your Oshkosh truck accident lawyer may be able to seek out and gather evidence to help you build a strong case that attempts to show how negligence was the cause of your accident and injuries.
Have some questions? Call (877) 888-5201.
Compensation For Truck Accident Victims
Truck accidents are often severe and leave victims with debilitating injuries that may require a lifetime of treatment. At our law firm, we are dedicated to protecting your rights. If you have a case, our team will work to pursue the compensation you are eligible to receive, including:
We may work towards getting you compensated for past, present and future medical expenses, such as:
- Surgical costs
- X-rays, MRI’s or other imaging tests
- Prescription medication
- Physical therapy
- Medical assistive equipment, like wheelchairs and crutches
- Transportation to and from treatment
- Ambulance ride to the hospital
Truck accidents can completely obliterate your vehicle. We may help you pursue compensation to replace or repair the damage.
Your injuries may cause you to miss many days at work. This can be an important factor to consider when pursuing compensation.
Serious injuries can also affect victims emotionally. These damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium/loss of companionship
Determining the value of these damages is complicated and many factors are involved. If you are the victim of a truck accident, we recommend that you contact our legal team today. We can review these factors and determine the fair value of your damages.
Have questions? Call (877) 888-5201.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
In Wisconsin, most personal injury cases must be filed within three years from the date of the accident.
However, every truck accident case is different. You may be required to file BEFORE this deadline or, under the "Discovery Rule" you may be eligible to file AFTER the deadline. When the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations gets extended to his or her 20th birthday.
A benefit of hiring a law firm to represent you is we can review the details of your claim and determine which deadline is applicable to your specific case.
What You Can Do to Help Strengthen Your Claim
Being involved in a truck accident can leave you in shock and at a loss of what to do next. While there are no guarantees in truck accident cases, taking the steps below may help you strengthen your claim:
Seeking Medical Attention
It is important that you put your health first by seeking immediate medical treatment by visiting a local hospital, such as Aurora Medical Center or Ascension Mercy Hospital. The medical documentation you receive from your physician may also be used as evidence that connects your injury to the accident.
Reporting the Accident
If your injuries allow you to do so, it is important that you report the accident to emergency officials and remain at the scene. Once an officer arrives, he or she will document the accident and instruct you on what to do next. Be sure to ask for a copy of the report as it can also be used as evidence in your claim.
Identify other parties involved, from the truck driver to other motor vehicle drivers. Important information you need from the truck driver includes:
- Truck driver’s name
- Driver’s license number
- Trucking company
- Truck’s license plate number
- Truck driver’s insurance company and policy information
If there are any witnesses on the scene, it is important to collect their statements, which you could do from voice memos or video on your phone, with their permission. We recommend that you gather their contact information in case our lawyers or insurance companies need to validate their statements or have further questions.
Gathering evidence is an important aspect of your truck accident claim. You can do this by taking pictures of the scene. Important details to photograph include:
- Different angles of the accident scene
- Debris or skid marks on the road
- Damage to vehicles
- Visible injuries you suffered
Photos may show the severity of the accident and paint a clear picture of the scene, which may help insurance companies determine the value of your claim.
Trucking Industry Regulations That May Apply
When federal regulations are violated, accidents may be more likely to happen. Our lawyers can carefully evaluate your situation and determine if federal regulations may have been broken before or during your accident. Some regulations that may apply to your accident include:
It is extremely important that truck drivers are qualified to handle the scope of the job. Some of the qualifications outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) include being:
- Able to read and speak the English language
- Able to safely operate a motor vehicle with proper training and/or experience
- In possession of a valid commercial motor vehicle operating license
- At least 21 years old
Hours of Service
Truck drivers often face tight deadlines, which can cause them to spend long hours behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many truck accidents can be accredited to driver fatigue and drowsiness. This often happens when the driver or trucking company violates hours of service regulations. These include:
- Before starting a shift, drivers must be off duty for 10 consecutive hours
- 14 consecutive hours on duty are allowed when a driver has had 10 consecutive hours off duty
- Drivers cannot continue their shift if they have been on duty for 70 hours in any period of eight consecutive days
- No more than 10 hours on duty following eight consecutive hours off duty; or any period after having been on duty for 15 hours
- Drivers shall not operate after having been on duty for 60 hours in any seven consecutive days
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Truck drivers must take a mandatory drug and alcohol test before obtaining a commercial driver’s license. Trucking companies cannot hire a person who tests positive on a drug or alcohol test. When a truck accident occurs, drivers must be tested for drugs and alcohol in their system.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck accident, it is important that you reach out to an Oshkosh truck accident lawyer from our firm. After a thorough investigation, we may be able to determine if any regulations were violated and what this means for your potential case.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Many truck accidents occur as the result of negligence from either the driver, trucking company or other parties involved in loading or maintaining the truck or its cargo.
Some common examples of negligence that lead to truck accidents include:
- Failing to check blind spots
- Distracted driving, texting and driving
- Poor maintenance of the truck
- Overloading the trailer with cargo
- Driving in inclement weather
- Driver fatigue
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Failing to obey traffic signs and road laws
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to fix defective engine components or manufacturing these components in the first place
Truck Accident Injuries That May Require Medical Care
It is unfortunate that acts of negligence can lead to traumatic accidents and leave victims with severe injuries. Some of these injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries – Head injuries can be life-threatening and may lead to a wide range of issues. If an accident victim experiences a brain injury, he or she may suffer from cognitive and/or motor skill losses or deficits.
- Internal injuries – The blunt force of a truck accident may cause the victim to suffer internal damage that may rupture important organs that may be difficult to repair.
- Broken bone – It is common for truck victims to suffer broken bones from heavy impact.
- Lost limb – Vehicle damage could lead to limbs getting caught in dangerous positions, resulting in losing an arm, leg or another body part.
- Spinal cord injury – This type of injury may cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Death – In certain circumstances, truck accidents may lead to death for those in passenger cars.
If you have suffered severe injuries or lost a loved one from a truck accident, it's important to understand that you can get help and that you do have legal rights.
Contact an Oshkosh Truck Accident Lawyer for Help
A truck accident can be a life-changing event and the Oshkosh truck accident attorneys at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham understand the challenges that victims can face after a serious accident. We can help to provide honest, accurate legal advice and handle the entire litigation process on your behalf.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation and charge no upfront fees. You only pay us if we successfully collect money in a settlement or court victory.
Call us today at (877) 888-5201.